Synopses & Reviews
"Everyone wants to be a facilitator: consultants, managers, even teachers. What is desperately needed is a common, practical reference for understanding facilitation in diverse professional settings. No one has done a better job than Roger Schwarz of synthesizing the major theoretical underpinnings and translating them into clear, usable guidelines for practitioners."
— Peter M. Senge, author, The Fifth Discipline
"The Skilled Facilitator has always been an outstanding resource for new and seasoned facilitators, managers, and organizational leaders. The additions and enhancements in the revised edition make this well-written book a must for anyone who works with groups. Roger is an exceptional consultant and inspirational teacher who walks his talk."
— Nadine Bell, certified professional facilitator and past chair of the International Association of Facilitators
"This book replaces about a dozen that I have on my shelf. It has become the book on facilitation that aspiring and accomplished consultants should read."
— Geoffrey Bellman, author of The Consultant's Calling and Getting Things Done When You're Not in Charge
"The Skilled Facilitator has many good tips and practical suggestions to help everybody be a better facilitator, which is the task for all of us."
— Peter Block, author, Flawless Consulting and Stewardship
"As a small business competing with giants, we can't afford to waste time or money on 'flavor of the month' approaches. The Skilled Facilitator approach is our foundation for developing teams to maintain a competitive advantage."
— Jeff Koeze, owner and CEO, Koeze Company
"I recommend this book with enthusiasm to professionals in all fields, to consultants, graduate students, and thoughtful managers. Schwarz has done an excellent job of integrating social science theories with valuable advice. He makes both come alive with rich, excellent examples."
— Chris Argyris, James Bryant Conant Professor, emeritus, Harvard University, and author of Knowledge for Action
This text provides a clearly defined set of basic principles to help facilitators develop sound, value-based responses to a wide range of unpredictable situations. It also includes advice on how to work with outside consultants and facilitate within one's own organization.
When it was published in 1994, Roger Schwarz's The Skilled Facilitator
earned widespread critical acclaim and became a landmark in the field. The book is a classic work for consultants, facilitators, managers, leaders, trainers, and coaches--anyone whose role is to guide groups toward realizing their creative and problem-solving potential.
This thoroughly revised edition provides the essential materials for facilitators and includes simple but effective ground rules for group interaction. Filled with illustrative examples, the book contains proven techniques for starting meetings on the right foot and ending them positively and decisively. This important resource also offers practical methods for handling emotions when they arise in a group and offers a diagnostic approach for identifying and solving problems that can undermine the group process.
Based on Schwarz's practical experience working in the field and the feedback he has received in his dynamic workshops, this revised edition is easier to use and much more accessible. Grounded in the latest thinking on teams, organization development, and facilitation, this new edition
The Skilled Facilitator
- Takes a more conversational approach
- Offers a clear analysis of the Skilled Facilitator approach, based on a set of core values, assumptions, and principles
- Defines the five facilitative roles--facilitator, leader, coach, consultant, and trainer
- Shows how groups can act inconsistently with ground rules and what to do to intervene
- Describes the theories that guide a facilitator's actions
also includes practical advice on how to work with outside consultants and how to facilitate groups within one's own organization, along with a groundbreaking section on facilitative leadership.
About the Author
Roger Schwarz is an organizational psychologist and founder and president of Roger Schwarz Associates, Inc. a consulting group that helps organizations use facilitative skills to create fundamental change. He facilitates groups and teaches, consults, coaches, and speaks on facilitation, facilitative leadership, and developing effective work groups. Schwarz is currently working on The Skilled Facilitator Fieldbook, to be published by Jossey-Bass.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Revised Edition.
PART ONE: HOW FACILITATION HELPS GROUPS.
1. The Skilled Facilitator Approach.
2. What Makes Work Groups Effective?
3. The Facilitator and Other Facilitative Roles.
PART TWO: DIAGNOSING BEHAVIOR IN GROUPS.
4. Understanding the Theories That Guide Our Actions.
5. Ground Rules for Effective Groups.
6. Diagnosing Behaviors That Enhance or Hinder Group Effectiveness.
PART THREE: INTERVENING IN GROUPS.
7. Deciding Whether, How, and Why to Intervene.
8. How to Intervene.
9. Using the Ground Rules to Intervene.
10. Using the Skilled Facilitator Approach with Other Processes.
11. Beginning and Ending Meetings.
12. Dealing with Emotions.
PART FOUR: AGREEING TO WORK TOGETHER.
13. Contracting: Deciding Whether and How to Work Together.
14. Working with Another Facilitator.
PART FIVE: USING FACILITATIVE SKILLS IN YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION.
15. Serving as Facilitator in Your Own Organization.
16. The Facilitative Leader.
Resource A: Current and Previous Ground Rules.
Resource B: Sample Planning Meeting Letter.
Resource C: Guidelines for Developing an Effective Contract.
Resource D: Sample Agreement for Basic Facilitation.
Resource E: Sample Agreement for Developmental Facilitation.
Resource F: Guidelines for Using Experiential Exercises and Self-Knowledge Instruments.
Resource G: Questions for Cofacilitators.
Resource H: Guidelines for Contracting with Your Manager.